Food critic Jonathan Meades denounces cultural appropriation

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One critic has launched a staunch defense of cultural appropriation, arguing that chefs should not become the target of abuse when putting their own spin on dishes.

Jonathan Meades has said that chefs should not be afraid to offend ‘the guardians of authenticity’, arguing that ‘without cultural appropriation, there is nothing but stagnation’.

His comments come in the wake of the increasingly problematic ‘cancel culture’ and a number of celebrity chefs, including Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver, who have come under fire for their take on traditional recipes, including carbonara and roasted chicken, respectively.

Jonathan Meades has said that chefs should not be afraid to offend ‘the guardians of authenticity’, arguing that ‘without cultural appropriation, there is nothing but stagnation’.

In 2019, Gordon Ramsay hit back at a critic after accusing him of cultural appropriation over his 'fake Chinese' restaurant Lucky Cat in Mayfair

In 2017, Nigella Lawson was mocked by Italian chefs when she unveiled her carbonara recipe with cream instead of raw eggs.

In 2019, Gordon Ramsay hit back at a critic after accusing him of cultural appropriation over his ‘fake Chinese’ restaurant Lucky Cat in Mayfair. In 2017, Nigella Lawson was mocked by Italian chefs when she unveiled her carbonara recipe with cream instead of raw eggs.

In 2018, Jamie Oliver was forced to defend his microwave bag of 'punchy jerk rice'

In 2018, Jamie Oliver was forced to defend his microwave bag of ‘punchy jerk rice’

Mr. Meades, a commentator and author, made the comments in an interview with the culture website Quietus while promoting his new series of essays, Pedro and Ricky come back again.

He was asked about his views on arguments around authenticity in industry and perceptions of cultural appropriation.

He said to Quietus: ‘Without cultural appropriation there is only stagnation. The subject is essentially frivolous.

A cassoulet made in London shouldn’t worry the keepers of authenticity as it tries the impossible. The authentic cassoulet is made in Auch.

‘No, it was made in Toulouse. No, it comes from Carcassonne. Hold on, it’s from Le Trou Gascon in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.

‘And what about Chez Philippe at the Canal St Martin? Excellence is worth pursuing. Authenticity is a chimera. ‘

Mr Meades said measures to eradicate cultural appropriation in literature were “an order to stifle the imagination.”

In 2019, Gordon Ramsay became embroiled in a feud with food writer Angela Hui, accusing her of a “ bunch of derogatory and offensive social media posts ” after accusing him of cultural appropriation of his ‘fake Chinese’ restaurant Lucky Cat in Mayfair.

Writing for the London Eater website, she posted a scathing review calling his venture ‘nothing but a real Ramsay kitchen nightmare’ and adding, ‘I was the only East Asian person in a room full of 30-40 journalists and chefs. ‘

But Ramsay objected to social media reports allegedly sent by Ms. Hui, in which she had targeted Chef Ben Orpwood’s partner calling her a “ symbolic Asian woman. ”

Ramsay said, “The whole series of derogatory and offensive social media posts that appeared on Angela Hui’s social channels were not professional.”

Scottish chef Neil Rankin said at the time that cultural appropriation was ‘inevitable’ in the modern world, adding, ‘It’s unfair to say you’re going to eat plain British food for the rest of your life.’

In 2017, Nigella Lawson was mocked by Italian chefs when she unveiled her carbonara recipe with cream instead of raw eggs.

Last year, social media users accused fast food giant McDonald’s of “ cultural appropriation at its best ” over the Jerk Chicken Sandwich on the party menu.

One person tweeted, ‘The more I think about it, the more I suffer from the McDonald’s’ jerk chicken’ attempt. It shows me one of two things: 1) They don’t want to respect the culture or 2) They don’t have diversity in their team. ‘

In 2018, Jamie Oliver was forced to defend his microwave bag of punchy jerk rice, which was made with eggplant, chili and beans, after a torrent of criticism.

Jamie Oliver had to defend his microwave bag of punchy jerk rice, which was made with eggplant, chili and beans, after a torrent of criticism.

Jamie Oliver had to defend his microwave bag of punchy jerk rice, which was made with eggplant, chili and beans, after a torrent of criticism.

The chain announced a new Jerk Chicken Sandwich for its party menu, which also includes a double Big Mac and a Celebrations McFlurry.

The chain announced a new Jerk Chicken Sandwich for its party menu, which also includes a double Big Mac and a Celebrations McFlurry.

The Essex-born celebrity cook was outraged by critics, including Labor MP Dawn Butler, who called the product ‘not ok’ and condemned him for ‘cultural appropriation’.

Mr Oliver defended the ready meal’s name in a statement after Caribbean chef Rustie Lee claimed the recipe had “nothing to do with jerk.”

Mrs. Lee said, “It’s an insult. Acorn comes from the Caribbean. And I love Jamie so much. The thing is, it comes on a bandwagon. Why didn’t he call it pukka rice? He’s taken an asshole to try to be funny. It’s a bit of an insult to Caribbean people. ‘

Last year, Christine Hayes, editor-in-chief of ‘BBC Good Food’ and ‘Olive’, announced that linguistic changes were being made to some of the 13,000 recipes in their archive.

Ms. Hayes revealed that generalizing phrases such as ‘Asian salad’ are about to be removed from recipes in the publications.

The ingredients in a true jerk marinade are allspice - a dried unripe berry from the South American native plant Pimenta dioica - and Scotch bonnet peppers

The ingredients in a true jerk marinade are allspice – a dried unripe berry from the South American native plant Pimenta dioica – and Scotch bonnet peppers

Last year, chefs rallied around MasterChef: The Professional finalist Philli Armitage Mattin who became embroiled in an online battle when Instagram users accused her of racism and calling Asian food “ dirty. ”

The 28-year-old, who is of mixed British and Indian descent, had ‘Dirty Food Refined’ ‘Asian Food Specialist’ and the hashtag #prettydirtyfood in her Instagram bio, which despite the fact evoked allegations of racism and cultural appropriation ‘ dirty ‘is a commonly used term that refers to delicious street food.

Aktar Islam, who won the Great British Menu in 2011 and Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word the previous year, told FEMAIL that canceling culture is “ stifling the progression of those pushing boundaries. ”

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